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Divorce FAQs

Can we get divorced in New York State even if we didn't get married in NYS?
Yes, but a divorce action may only be started in a NYS court if one of  the residency requirements of Domestic Relations Law ("DRL")Section 230 is met: DRL Section 230 states that a divorce, separation action, annulment action, or an action to declare the nullity of a void marriage, may be maintained in NY where:
1. The parties were married in NY, and one person has resided in NY for a continuous period of one year immediately before the action is started; or
2. The parties resided as a married couple in NY, and one person has resided in NY for a continuous period of one year immediately before the action is started; or
3. The cause of action for divorce occurred in NY, and one person has resided in NY for a continuous period of one year immediately before the action is started; or 
4. The cause of action for divorce occurred in NY, and both parties are residents when the divorce action is started; or
5. Either party has been a NY resident for a continuous period of two years immediately before the action is started.

What is a void marriage?
A marriage is "absolutely" void if one of the parties is previously married to another person. The action to declare the nullity of a void marriage can be brought by the husband, wife, or the "former" spouse.  An incestuous marriage is also void.  A marriage is incestuous if it is between: an ancestor and a descendant, a brother and sister, and an aunt and a nephew or an uncle and niece.

Does NY have "no-fault" divorce?
Effective October 12, 2010, a new ground for divorce was added--irretrievable breakdown. If the spousal relationship has "broken down irretrievably" for a period of six months or more, and either party says so under oath, a court may grant a judgment of divorce provided all economic and custody issues have been resolved between the parties or by a court.

What are the court fees for an uncontested divorce?
Currently, the fees are $210 for an index number and $125 to file a note of issue, for a total of $335.

How long do I have to answer the divorce summons I was just served with?
In order to avoid default, quick action should be taken. If a divorce summons was served upon you personally, there is a twenty day period in which to serve a formal response. But, the other party must wait at least forty days after service to put the case on the "uncontested" calendar.

This site is owned and operated by Barbara J. Schaffer, Attorney at Law, 225 Broadway, Suite 1515, New York, NY 10007 • 212 962.1196 • Copyright 2012.

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